Harmony in nature: Bovids have mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships (mutualism) with other living organisms that reveal a harmony in nature. For one, all bovids have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria and other microorganisms that allows the digestion of cellulose, the most abundant organic (carbon-containing) compound on earth, but one that that most animals cannot digest. Bovids provide a habitat and food (through grazing and browsing) for the microorganisms, and in turn receive digestible carbohydrates from the breakdown of the cellulose. Some bovids also have a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with some birds, such as the cattle egret and cowbird, whereby the bird helps the bovid by providing a warming or eating bothersome insects on the bovid, and the bird in turn is aided in finding insects and other prey when they are startled by the movement of the bovid.
Human stewardship and creativity: Many species of bovids have been domesticated, such as cattle, sheep, and goats. This shows creativity on the part of humans and it show humans fulfilling their role as stewards of creation. As stated by Rev. Sun Myung Moon (June 13, 2006, Cheongpyeong, Republic of Korea), "God created all the earth's creatures as our natural environment; they are absolutely needed for human prosperity. Human beings and nature are meant to share a realm of mutual resonance, with humans as the subject partners of love and nature as the object partner thriving under human management and beautified by human creativity." An example of the partnership between human beings and nature is expressed in the ability of humans and various animals to cooperate. As such, the cattle, sheep, and goats have prospered in terms of numbers and spreading throughout the world.
Improper treatment of animals: On the other hand, humans have often not acted as proper stewards of creation, but have exploited nature selfishly. This is seen in the extinction of aurochs and some species of bison due to overhunting. It is also seen in widespread mistreatment of domesticated animals. In the same speech quoted above, Rev. Moon stated: "Protect and love nature… To love nature is to love God and humanity. When human life resonates with nature, human character can blossom in perfection." Unification thought holds that humans fell away from God and this separation also reflects in the mistreatment of other animals.
Unification Aspects is designed to relate the subject of this article to Unification Thought and to aid teachers and researchers who wish to further pursue these topics from a unification perspective.